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Jul 25, 2007 09:41 PM

Ceviche - Tapas Restaurant in Tampa, fl.

There is a hidden little place that my wife and I have gone to eat numerous time called Ceviche, a restaurant in south Tampa that serves Spanish tapas and paellas. The Restaurant is actually a great idea. When you come in you feel almost as if you were entering a small-underground tapas restaurant in Madrid. They also have a great menu with mostly hot and cold tapas plates and a few paellas options. The menu is great, however, the last few times we’ve eaten there we were somewhat disappointed. One of our favorite plates is the Berenjenas Asadas which are grilled eggplants baked in a tomato sauce on a bed of portabella mushrooms. The were few time we ordered it was actually great, but the last couple times we had it they were cheap with the sauce and the portabella mushrooms, since they were none. We were also disappointed by the “champinones de Sevilla which are supposed to be “Woodland” mushrooms with peppers, garlic and bread with goat cheese. Againg, they were great the first few times we had it but the last time we went there they only served us baby portabella mushrooms with way too much oil. On the other side, many of their seafood and meat plates are actually great. The “Gambas al Ajillo “garlic shrimp” are usually very good although sometimes the spicy flavor of the shrimp varies. One of my favorite plates there are the “Calamares rellenos”, which is squid stuffed with veal and chorizo in a tomato sauce with manchego cheese. Its almost like eating the most delicious surf and turf plate tapas style. But like I said, may be it depends what day you go there of in what mood the cooks are.

Another thing I noticed is that the pace is not the cleanest restaurant you have ever gone to, but it certainly is a lot cleaner than Sangrias, another tapas restaurant in south Tampa. The room in the restaurant is very dark so it may be hard to notice how clean the floor is. Its not too bad though at least it doesn’t stinks like cat shit…

I know we wont be going back to this place any time soon; nevertheless we might still go back one day. The main reason for this is the price of the restaurant. Its just not worth it for us. Every time we leave Ceviche we leave feeling hungry and we usually spend at least $100 ( And we don’t drink). I think I prefer going to other restaurants in Tampa where for the same price we get much better food in a much more comfortable place and we don’t end up felling hungry. But if you want to have good Spanish food and don’t care to spend too much for little plates of food, Ceviche is probably your best bet.

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  1. I went to Ceviche in St. Petersburg last weekend. I am not sure if it is the same one or if they have multible locations. The Sangria was wonderful. We went with a larger group of people and are bill was much smaller.

    5 Replies
    1. re: carinole

      The one in St. Pete is owned by the same people as the one in Tampa.


      1. re: RibDog

        That is true. I've been to the st Petersburg one and i had a very lame experience. They were very busy that night too. I guess they don't have to do as good as the Tampa one when they have the whole eclectic-Spanish scene going on.

        1. re: madrusec

          Have you tried Vizcaya in Carrollwood?

      2. re: carinole

        I've noticed that in places where you share, it's just not reasonable to go as a couple.
        My husband and I have been to Buca di Beppo a few times and spent a fortune and left unsatisfied. We went back in a group of six and spent less per person, but ate a LOT more food, and a lot more variety too.
        As "romantic" as it seems, I won't go to a tapas or family-style place again without at least 4 people.

        1. it's not exactly a hidden little place

          1. A big two thumbs down on Ceviche 1502 S Howard, Tampa. I agree with the ambiance, and decor when you walk in I was filled with expectations. They soared higher as our friendly, bubbling waiter came over and took our drink order. Since the place only had about 6 tables occupied, I never dreamed it would be over 10 minutes before our beverages finally arrived.

            After our order was placed I can only echo my disappointment in the quality of the food, drowning unrecognizably in sauces, so much so that the spinach salad resembled soup, and the 5 pieces of cut chorizo for $9.00, resembled an oily stew.... my 6.00 omelette with machengo and tomato was bereft of tomato.,.now I don't mind paying for good food and have the credit card bills to prove it, but this is one of the few times I left a restaurant not only hungry, but nauseous. Good tip on the cleanliness, madrusec, may explain why I probably have a slight case of ecoli.... I won't be back. I'll stick with Vizcaya on Dale Mabry where I have yet to leave feeling hungry or disappointed; or in a pinch, Tina Tapas in Channelside. Ceviche Tampa, I'll sum in one work...Yuk!

            4 Replies
            1. re: Jen Tkalec

              Wow, I couldn't disagree more. I'm a huge fan of Ceviche. Their tapas are some of the best I've had--so much so that I've researched the Web high and low to try to replicate some at home. I do agree, however, that they are not always consistent; seems as though the recipes change somewhat depending on the cook (I've noticed a difference in the amount of garlic or sherry in a dish, for example).

              On the other hand, I thought that Tina Tapas was horrible, both food and service. I will not be back there. Vizcaya is good, but I think Ceviche is the better value. Maybe it's just a matter of what you order and what your expectations are.

              1. re: Jen Tkalec

                We were at Vizcaya Friday night and the food was absolutely fantastic. I love when I can continue to go to a restaurant for several years and it just continues to get better.

                1. re: rhnault

                  I'm a big Ceviche fan been to the Tampa location, the St Pete location and the new location in Clearwater. The $4 tapas Tuesdays are a great deal. My boyfriend and I ate for $23.00.

                  1. re: annemarie07

                    At the Sarasota Ceviche, all tapas are half price during happy hour. Scallop ceviche for $4 was my favorite.

              2. We went there many years ago when my husband was taking the bar exam and had a wonderful experience. He went back with a group and had a great time. I also heard they opened one in Orlando.
                The ambiance is great - very secret spot feeling. The food was fabulous as well as the sangria. We would go there anytime we were in the area!